A Papal ‘Gesture’: Can We Help Asylum Seekers without Exploiting Them?

April 25, 2016 – Anja Karlsson Franck

On April 16th, Pope Francis made a ‘gesture’ on the Greek Island of Lesbos. Francis, the unlikely darling of the liberal left, returned to the Vatican with 12 Muslim Syrian asylum seekers, planning to offer them sanctuary. Was the Pope setting an example for European governments to follow, or is he just exploiting asylum seekers for political purposes? Anja Karlsson Franck, Senior Lecturer at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, draws on her extensive fieldwork on the island of Lesbos to make the call.

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NY Times story on the Pope’s gesture

Full text of the Pope’s interview

Anja Karlsson Franck’s page


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